A Shoe Addict's Christmas

​Sunshine says:      The Movie is Better!

Book Review: This is my first time reading a book written by Kristen Ethridge. I really like the author's writing style. It is an entertaining read! The book has such funny lines and scenes that are not included in the movie. The book comes with an Epilogue... what happens with Poppy and Ryan and the Larson family one year later. I never really liked the title of the book, until the Epilogue. "It had all started with an October kiss..." (pg. 241). The end of the book features a recipe for Pumpkin Soup with Parmesan Croutons (the family enjoys the soup for dinner in the movie).

Movie Review: The Hallmark Channel Original movie stars Ashley Williams and Sam Jaeger. Ashley Williams is the reason why the movie is better. She plays a phenomenal Poppy! The movie is idealistically Halloween with the Whidbey Island Harvest Festival, the Halloweek at school, the decorations around the house, the frosted cookies, pumpkin pies and the handmade costumes. I enjoy the character connections onscreen, and the movie moves at a faster pace. 

Differences: In the book, Poppy's sister is happily married and seemingly single in the movie. In the book, Poppy goes back to school to get her degree. 

🎃 This is a rare Hallmark Channel Original Movie where the main characters do not need to couple up. "October Kiss" read like a Comedy and didn't necessarily need to have a romance between the single dad and the nanny.

​My Goodreads Review!

The Story of Us

​Sunshine says:      The Movie is Better!

Book Review: This is my first time reading a John Grisham novel. And I am completely blown away by his writing style and his storytelling. A literary genius! I love the movie 'Christmas with the Kranks' and I watch it every December, so I was excited to read the novel, "Skipping Christmas." The story moved at the perfect pace! The scenes and lines were very similar to the movie adaptation. There are so many parts where I laughed out loud! Grisham invites the readers to look into the characters' personal lives and private thoughts. The book has even more comedic scenes and even more details than the movie. Luther Krank is a much nicer man in the book than in the movie version. Wow, that ending! I cried!  


Movie Review: Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis are perfectly casted as Luther and Nora Krank. And Dan Aykroyd made me laugh as Vic Frohmeyer. "Christmas with the Kranks" is a great movie adaptation though there are a few inconsistencies. Marty is Santa (not in book version). Blair meets and falls in love with someone she just met in Peru. Walt Scheel and the white cat (black cat in book) play a bigger, more antagonistic role in the movie. More importantly, the ending scenes are different. There is no thief/conman in the book. The movie tends to exaggerate (like the fire in Frosty's eyes!), add or elongate scenes when, in my opinion, the John Grisham story is flawless as is. 

The message of "Skipping Christmas"/ Christmas with the Kranks:  The beauty - and selflessness - from family and friends around Christmas!

​My Goodreads Review!

I watched Moonlight in Vermont on Hallmark Channel starring Lacey Chabert and Carlo Marks, so I was excited to read the novel that brought the story to life, written by Kacy Cross, to compare and contrast. The movie is a Perfect Hallmark Channel rom-com, and the script closely mirrors the book. I visually enjoyed seeing the small town, the MapleFaire Festival and the lovely Inn at Swan Lake. And my favorite scene is  when Carlo Marks sang softly to Lacey the words ♫ Moonlight in Vermont ♫ playing at the MapleDance! So romantic! The heroine learns that she likes "Vermont Fiona" better than her New York city life. And the story ends nicely with a kiss. A beautiful story!

No offense, Lacey Chabert, but the novel is so much better than the movie! The author switches up roles so that the readers can see and experience the emotions from the viewpoint of Fiona, Derek, Angela and Brandon. This story made me want to visit Vermont and taste Derek's cooking and try the infamous Maple Glazed Sea Scallops (recipe in the back of the book)! The writer is incredibly descriptive, giving more backstory to the characters and I love how the two romantic relationships slowly evolve (Derek + Fiona and Angela + Brandon).  There is an Epilogue, a part of the book the movie doesn't show, describing what happens to the two couples after the credits end. Super cute (second) ending! I highly recommend! 

The message of "Moonlight in Vermont" (both versions) is about slowing down, of appreciating the small things, of figuring out yourself, taking the time to mend fences (figuratively and literally!) .... and the visuals and examples of that message really echo with me... the molasses dripping in the bucket, cooking from scratch, a nature stroll and not a swift run.

"Some of the best things in life are worth the wait."

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Moonlight in Vermont

​Sunshine says:      The Book is Better!

Book Review: The book is nothing like the movie! And there are curse words in the text, a scene with a fortune teller, astrological signs and their meanings (I am a Cancer so thus I act like this...), along with other mature elements (I would give this book a PG-13 rating). This is my first time reading a book written by Beth Harbison. I like that the writing is first-person, told from Noelle's point of view. But when she is replaying her memories from the past, the story shifts to third person as if the main character is a bystander to the happenings around her. And the twist in the book is that Charlie is Charlene Pennymar (who is someone completely different in the movie).

Movie Review: One of my favorite Hallmark Channel Original Christmas movies is 'A Shoe Addict's Christmas' starring Candace Cameron Bure and Luke Macfarlane. Candace Cameron Bure  is one of my favorite actresses!  The movie shows more Christmas elements (i.e. snowball fights, gingerbread cookies, a horse drawn carriage, a holiday party). Jake and Noelle's love story evolves more in the movie. In the Hallmark version, a change in the past immediately changes the future. Charlie (the guardian angel) intervenes a lot more on the screen. "She was going a bit heavy on the guardian-angel bit, which made me think she'd probably watched a few too many Christmas movies..." (pg. 34)

I enjoyed "A Shoe Addict's Christmas"! The message of the story is: Take risks. Get out of your comfort zone. Small positive changes can greatly impact your life. Say Yes to Love in all its forms. And decide what difference you want to make in this world. 

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The Perfect Catch

​Sunshine says:      The Book is Better!

Book Review: This is my first time reading a book written by Cassidy Carter.  Jessica Parker is a single mom and the owner of Wesley's Hometown Diner located in a small town in Parker Falls, Ohio. Business is down. And her son, Wes, needs a real coach to show him how to play baseball. Cue in Jess' old boyfriend - now a famous Pitcher for Boston - Chase Taynor, who is on a bit of a hiatus, also down in his career, anxiously waiting for some good news from his sports agent. Chase and Jessica reunite after 15 years apart and these two, along with their friends and family, turn things around at the Diner. The romance between Chase and Jessica is organic, believable and evolves at a nice pace. There is more emotion, content and individual perspectives from the characters in the book. The story includes funny metaphors and analogies that are baseball themed. "His mind drifted to the memory of a young girl... a girl who had once made him feel as though being with her was a home run" (pg. 27).  There is an Epilogue, a part of the book the movie doesn't show, describing what happens to the couple after the credits end. Super cute (second) ending! 

Movie Review: I watched the Hallmark Channel Original movie 'The Perfect Catch' starring Nikki Deloach and, may I say.... Andrew W. Walker IS Chase Taynor! The movie is set in a cozy small town with a cute white gazebo, and I would love to eat at Wesley's Diner. The movie excluded an obvious amount from the book and I felt there are plot holes in the movie that the book explains. 

The message of "The Perfect Catch" (both versions):  Do the right thing. Take risks. Follow your Heart. Keep your Promises. 

​My Goodreads Review

Christmas in Homestead

​Sunshine says:      The Book is Better!

October Kiss

​Sunshine says:      The Movie is Better!

Which is better? The Movie or the Book?

I am here to break it down for you! 

Book Review: This is my first time reading a book written by Liz Isaacson. What I absolutely love most about this story is the differing POV's. The scene would start with Nikki Turner's thoughts and end with Paul Delucci's point of view, which makes for a very engaging slow burn romance between two chefs who cook side by side, support each other and open a restaurant together. There is an Epilogue in the book that shares a second ending that the Hallmark Channel Movie does not air. 


Movie Review: I watched the Hallmark Channel Original movie 'A Dash of Love' starring Jen Lilley and Brendan Penny. The actors are so talented and there is such onscreen chemistry between the characters! I loved seeing Gus' Kitchen and Holly Hanson's fine dining restaurant and the Delucci's Bakery - it made me want to eat at all those places! I love that the story centers around Valentine's Day with Cafe Cupid and heart shaped ravioli and spontaneous dancing in the alleyway!

The message of "A Dash of Love" (both versions):  Live out your dreams. Take your talent and turn it into art (or - crayons can make art, too!). Failure does not mean you give up.

​My Goodreads Review!

Sunshine is a Top

Book Reviewer 

​on Goodreads! 

I watched Christmas in Homestead on Hallmark Channel, and it was casted perfectly! Taylor Cole is a very believable Movie Actress and I applaud Michael Rady as Matt the Innkeeper/Mayor and Jeff Branson as the Action Star Vince Hawkins! The movie mirrors the book very well with similar lines and scenes. There are so many Christmas aspects like snowball fighting, ice skating, snowman building, decorating cookies, carriage rides and Christmas lights... a viewer can easily win playing Hallmark Christmas Movie Bingo! And in the skating scene, there shows a quick and unmistakable Hallmark Crown logo (product placement!). My problem with the movie is that the romance with Jessica and Matt seems too forced - too quick. Also, the movie has a different ending than the book. 

"The story of a famous actress finding true love at Christmas in a small town? That's the plot of your movie. Not real life" (pg. 186). This is my first time reading a book by Author Kara Tate. 
I like the book better than the movie! The author shows the perspectives from Jessica, Matt, Ian, Zoe and even ten-year old Sophie. I felt like the romances needed time to develop and evolve and the book went at a nice, slower, more realistic pace. 

The message takeaway from "Christmas in Homestead" is: make your own happy ending, embrace the true meaning of Christmas, change isn't always a bad thing, choose your priorities in life, do the right thing and treat everyone with kindness. "That's what we do here in Homestead. We're nice" (pg. 217).

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Book Review: This is my first time reading a novel written by Teri Wilson. I love all the characters and the romances (Jamie + Sawyer (plus Matt!), Rick + Lucy and let's not forget Harris + Mary). There is a lot of... Will They or Won't They? moments. The author shows the emotions and perspectives of Jamie and Sawyer's Love Story. I love Wilson's imagery and writing style. There is an Epilogue showing Lucy + Rick and Jamie + Sawyer one year later. Rick's recipe of "Wild Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto" is shown in the back of the book. 

Movie Review: The Hallmark Channel Original Movie starring Maggie Lawson and Sam Page moves at a quicker pace.  Maggie Lawson is cute and adorable and makes the perfect Jamie Vaughn. The movie mirrors the book very well! I love the surrounding ambiance of red and white roses, chocolate, the Fire and Ice Festival, handwritten love letters, heart shaped foam in the coffee and at the center of it all - the True Love Bookstore and Cafe!  I adore the local shops at Waterford. I want to buy Anita's flowers and eat lunch at the Pizzaria. I love Valentine's themed Hallmark Movies! 

I enjoyed "The Story of Us"! The message of the story is to Fight for True Love (literally and figuratively!). Be sure to look out for the quick yet obvious Hallmark Product Placement in both the book and movie.

"Valentine's Day is one of the best days of the year, and you don't have to be in a relationship to enjoy it!" 

My Goodreads Review!

A Dash of Love

​Sunshine says:      The Book is Better!

Skipping Christmas/ Christmas with the Kranks

​Sunshine says:      The Book is Better!